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March 7, 2019 VIA EMAIL, Office of the County Commissioners 150 N. Queen St. Joshua G. Parsons, Chairman Seventh Floor, Suite 715 Dennis P. Stuckey, Vice-Chairman Lancaster, PA 17603 Craig E. Lehman Dear Lancaster County Commissioners: | am contacting the board extremely concerned, disappointed, and stunned by recent actions and public ‘comments made by the board regarding my offic. During my 11 years as District Attorney of Lancaster County, | have worked cooperatively with every board of commissioners and other elected officials. While that has not always involved seeing eye-to- eye, conversations were had, resolutions were discussed, and progress was achieved ~all to the benefit of the taxpayers we are elected to serve. Recently, however, this board has chosen to follow a path of only corresponding with my office through media releases and legal filings which are misleading the public and fashioned so to impugn a reputation for integrity | have spent a career building. | refer to recent events, specifically media reports exacerbated by public comments from the Board of ‘Commissioners (BOC) regarding my office and alleged improprieties. Those comments included outright falsehoods on subjects which the BOC made no attempts to take up with me. Had you done so, | am confident each “issue” could have been quickly resolved. | speak specifically of three storylines: employment action involving one of my employees; the disclosure of data regarding civil forfeitures; and the use of a forfeiture-funded work vehicle. Regarding the employment action, this board breached a long-standing practice in this county to not discuss HR matters and certainly not disclose employees involved in such processes. Not only was the employee's name disclosed by the BOC, but it was suggested that | acted with political motivation; when in fact! acted in concert with the recommendations of the county's Human Resources Department ~ your HR department, Regerding civil forfeiture data, had this board verbalized a strong desire ~ or any desire -to view the records, | would have worked with you. Despite your attacks, ! am extending the extraordinary offer that this board reviews said records on condition that anything necessary to protect law enforcement and safety is not revealed. Regarding the forfeiture-funded vehicle, the lease was expressly authorized by the County Controller in an official document over three (3) years ago. That this board was not aware of such when making bold public accusations of impropriety is hard to believe. if it wes known, then the attack was simply deceitful ‘More importantly than the attacks, | write this on behalf of the taxpayers and residents of Lancaster County whom we all were elected to serve. This community deserves a set of elected officials they can depend on, who work with the public's best interests as their guiding priority. Apprising residents via media of alleged discrepancies - without even cursory inquiries into the facts - and launching investigations without any legal authority to do so does. little to achieve that goal. In fact, it works directly to the contrary. ‘The public has a right to expect our leaders to at least attempt to discuss a matter of concern or a question before resorting to legal filings and/or casting clouds of misbehavior in the media. This board has instead chosen what should be the last resort: the path of legal filings and blatant attacks on my office using a media conduit. Because you have chosen that path, | am reluctantly forced to respond in that same arena. Providing the public falsehoods via the media stains the hard work exerted by my staff ‘and mysetf and tarnishes the integrity and faitness with which we all approach our dally duties. It eannot goon, To elaborate further on the three storylines, my disappointment is heightened because this board had alll the facts available to them had they had any interest in them, but instead made the comments and took actions in conflict to those facts. Specifically: - This began when this board then made a statement that an employment matter in my office, which you knew had been resolved at that point, had taken place. The BOC then unfairly identified the employee. You then went even further and speculated that the matter was political, directly impugning my integrity. ‘The truth, that you have never told the public, is that you knew that every decision regarding the employment matter happened with input and recommendation from HR, it was demonstrably not political, and there is no complaint. Your misleading statements are a failure of responsibilty to the truth, this office, the employee, and the public. Despite all of the above, | am again extending an offer: | am more than willing to release everything | possess regarding the matter, but this board must secure the proper legal clearance, waivers from the employees, and agree to indemnity the office as needed. Let me be very clear: there is no question that full disclosure will remove every cloud of suspicion you have woven. = Regarding the forfeiture records matter, this board has never once come to me with a single question, concern, or an expressed desire to review said records. Instead, the first | heard of the board's alleged concern with the matter is via a court filing in which you team with a news agency in seeking these records. ‘The far more efficient act, on behalf of the taxpayer, would have been to reach out to me directly and simply ask to see such records or express your concerns. | would have certainly offered an explanation. ‘What | will not do is breach the state forfeiture law and publicly release what is protected. However, | extend the offer that this board reviews said records on condition that anything necessary to protect law enforcement and safety is not revealed and that you sign appropriate confidentiality agreements so that what cannot be released to the public is not. In turn, | expect you immediately rectify your previously damaging comments by Informing the public that everything you saw wes in line with the law. All of which is already confirmed in annual audits by Seen the Controller's Office and the state Attorney General: complete compliance with the law regarding all Uses of these funds. You will also find that | devoted over $160,000 the last few years for outreach, prevention, and ‘education. | trust you will have no “concerns” there. - Finally, this board knows the leasing of a vehicle — using drug dealer money rather than taxpayer dollars - was done properly and with the authorization of the County Controller, You know that the law regarding the use of assets forfeited from drug dealers and criminals is clear. It allows exactly what was done: use drug dealer assets to fight crime, exactly as have countless law enforcement officials done across the state and nation, Yet this board released a misleading and demonstrably false statement that | procured this vehicle in secret and without authority, The fact Is that the Controller's Office not only approved the purchase of this vehicle and all expenses related to it, but there has been documentary proof of this fact for over three years in his office and mine. ‘The Certificate to Lease speaks for itself (and is attached): the Controller certified that he can authorize this lease for the County and the DA is authorized to execute the lease, The fact that this critical document was omitted in the public attack and has stil not been corrected is simply astonishing, 'Not unlike other DAs in Pennsylvania and the nation, | have access to a work vehicle. This is not unique, many DAs and members of law enforcement have taxpayer-funded work vehicles. In fact, the entire DA's Office in Philadelphia apparently has taxpayer-funded vehicles and there Is no outcry that anything nefarious is taking place. This vehicle is not even funded by taxpayer dollars. With respect to the trips identified by a media outlet in which no mileage was claimed, each was work related, to include: the Sentencing Commission, the Governor's Office, PDAA, Animal Cruelty, and law enforcement. | spent my career responding to events all over the county at all days and times of the week and simply have not and do not ask for any expenses for many of those events. The truth is that over my entire career, | have vastly underreported travel reimbursement expenses | was entitled to receive. With respect to mileage specifically, | contacted the Controller months ago to bring to his attention what were some overpayments on mileage expense reports and / asked the department to take appropriate steps to correct any errors so that | could make things right. | explained how the error was made, to include the fact that | used multiple personal cars as well as the work vehicle. The matter was resolved, any overpayments were rectified, and the county made whole, The Solicitor and Controller approved the resolution and itis a non-issue, The BOC now trying to make it an issue is incredibly misleading and far from “transparent.” Moreover, | have completely lost count of all the homicide scenes, incidents, and meetings | have attended over the past almost 28 years, almost all in a personal vehicle, for which | simply never claimed any mileage despite being entitled to that reimbursement. The bottom line is, and as part of a complete picture, | have saved the county considerable funds by not making claims for substantial reimbursements | was entitled to receive.